May 31, 2015

We want to applaud and thank the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) and Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) for the wonderful new Ancient Oaks Trail extension at Mindego Gateway, Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. This one-mile trail extension connects the Mindego Gateway parking lot and facilities to the very popular Russian Ridge trail system, creating a four-mile loop that includes spectacular vistas and shaded woodlands.

The Mindego Gateway, which opened last year, is located in La Honda on Alpine Road, and is about a mile west of Skyline Boulevard. The site features 20 parking spots, tiered viewing platforms, including a wheelchair-accessible terrace, that offer sweeping views of protected peaks and ridgelines. From this landing point, hikers, bikers and horseback riders can take the new Ancient Oaks Trail extension to the Russian Ridge trail system, which includes the Bay Area Ridge Trail, Alpine Pond and in-COWrediable 360-degree views from Borel Hill.

The Mindego Hill area has been populated since 500 A.D., beginning with the Ohlone Native Americans, but is named for its first non-native settler, Juan Mendico, a Basque rancher who settled there in 1859. It is now home to abundant wildlife and has natural water sources.

The new extension is the final phase of the POST-funded Mindego Gateway Project, a campaign that helped finance the acquisition and protection of the stunning 1,047-acre Mindego Ranch and the distinct natural landmark of Mindego Hill, along with the 97-acre Silva property that is home to the Mindego Gateway.

Created by voter initiative in 1972, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has successfully protected more than 62,000 acres of open space. Midpen’s mission is to acquire and preserve a regional greenbelt of open space and agricultural land of regional significance in perpetuity, protect and restore the natural environment, and provide opportunities for ecologically-sensitive public enjoyment and education. Currently, Midpen protects 90 rare native species in 26 unique preserves with over 220 miles of publicly-accessible trails. Over 2 million visits are made to Midpen preserves annually.

You can get more information about the Ancient Oaks Trail or the Mindego Gateway at the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, by visiting here or call (650) 691-1200.

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